SoMeIn the early 2000s, having a corporate website was no longer just a novelty. A web presence became the standard for brands large and small and if it didn’t exist, it seemed a little odd.

Social media is like that today. It’s just expected that a brand will have an online presence on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, among others. Lack of participation in these outlets could alter the perception of the company that in turn could impact business. Would you want to work with a company that seemed behind the times?

But having a social media presence and making the best use of it are two different things, which is why it’s important to have a well-thought out social media strategy. What platforms make the most sense, and what are your objectives for those platforms?

With regard to platforms, many brands launch a Facebook page and start posting news items about itself. But what happens if your target audience congregates at LinkedIn or Twitter? That’s why it takes research to determine where your target audience is, a task that’s made easier by the various types of social media monitoring software available today. In other words, the tools at your disposal can determine where conversations about your brand are occurring, and what they are.

Regarding your goals, determine what your presence will be. Will you use it as a brand awareness tool, or perhaps as a listening post for customer questions and concerns? Or are you looking to drive sales leads from your social media platforms into the sales funnel? Each of these objectives are absolutely valid, but require front-end thinking to make sure that you’re getting the most out of the work you’ll put in by launching and managing those platforms.

There are plenty of resources to help you set your social media objectives and determine your presence. Two of our favorites are The B2B Social Media Book by Kipp Bodnar and Jeffrey L. Cohen, and The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott.

Image credit: BallywhoSocial

What are your main considerations when it comes to social media strategy?